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Tiny Desk Concerts

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So sitting here getting some work done while listening to some Tiny Desk Concerts, and thinking I'd open a topic here if only to spread awareness of them.


What are Tiny Desk Concerts?

Tiny Desk Concerts are organized by NPR's arts and culture journal as an intimate recording session for musicians great and small. The rules are simple: the artist, their music, and howevever much they can pack behind a 'tiny office desk' and then to perform three, four, or so songs; enough to fill in maybe ten to fifteen minutes of video. Tiny Desk Concerts are short, easily digestible pills of music performed before a small crowd of basically office workers. What happens is the magical effect of catching musicians at their most intimate in performing and often stripped naked of studio and big-performance trappings. The small setting often has the affect of toning down the intensity of songs, while not destroying the authenticity. Sort of like being at a small party. Of course this later bit can depend on the musicians or bands performing at that moment.



Often, the sessions catch rising or newly risen musical stars and acts and set them back on a stage that removes the commercial trappings that distort and cover their songs and re-presents the material at its most basic, fundamental core.



For artists like the above Sturgil Simpson, this is a return to square one in a way. A going back to his basic performing philosophy when he did solo gigs around Nashville before or around the time of his major commercial entrance Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.



And of course, the limitations of The Desk is a challenge to be broken, whether in the size of the band, or the uncontrolled scope in their music.



And then there's a 180 back to the opposite direction, and the challenges of the desk become not something to meet and defeat, but a personal venue for the musicians.

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